Minneapolis Playwrights' Center Champions Local & National Theater Arts

Minneapolis-based Playwrights' Center is without a doubt one of the most diverse supporters of theater arts in the country. It boasts a stellar list of local and national partnerships with organizations like New York's Public Theater, Chicago's Goodman Theater, the Guthrie Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and the Walker Art Center. And some of the most accomplished American playwrights alive are on its National Advisory Board, such as Edward Albee, Marsha Norman, and Emily Mann. Most importantly, it provides over a dozen fellowships and grants each year to local and national playwrights at various stages in their careers, totaling around $200,000 annually.

The fellowships that the Playwrights' Center offers are backed by the support of the McKnight Foundation and the Jerome Foundation, both Minnesota-based organizations, and fall into six different categories: 

  • Many Voices Mentorships: "Awarded annually to two Minnesota-based artists of color with little or no previous playwriting experience." They include a $1,000 stipend and a number of different mentorship services, including a six week class "taught by leading playwriting professionals."
  • Many Voices Fellows: Two $10,000 stipends awarded to two early-career Minnesota-based playwrights of color, as well as an additional $2,500 for living expenses and $1,500 in "play development funds."
  • Jerome Fellowships: Four $16,000 fellowships awarded annually to emerging national playwrights as well as $1,500 in development support.
  • McKnight Advancement Grants: Two grants of $25,000 given to two established Minnesota playwrights, with a potential of an additional $2,500 "to support a play development workshop and other professional expenses," as well as $1,400 toward travel expenses.
  • McKnight National Residency and Commission: Given to one celebrated national playwright and includes a $12,500 commission, round-trip airline tickets and housing during the residency, and up to $5,750 in workshop funds for writing development.
  • McKnight Theater Artist Fellowships: Three grants of $25,000 given to "three professional Minnesota theater artists other than playwrights recognized for their outstanding skill and talent." 

The Playwrights' Center also has a number of other services like the Ruth Easton Lab and various classes and workshops. The list of luminaries who have benefited from the Playwrights' Center is long and impressive, so dig in and see if there's something that can help you.